The sky over our Mercy Chefs base of operation just a few miles from the massive Dixie Fire is ominous.
Just to be clear, this is NOT a photo of a sunrise or a sunset. This photo was taken at 4am. The bright yellow and the orange glow are from the fire raging just over the mountain, a few miles away from our facility.
This is what happens when a massive wildfire is burning beyond control. Winds out of the northwest gusting up to 20mph pushed large volumes of smoke over the region. A few days ago, the fire began moving toward our location so we had to relocate a few more miles farther away from the fire. Fire officials had to relocate firefighters to the eastern front of the fire (where we are located) because of increasing threats to homes and businesses. Yesterday the winds shifted a bit and the air cooled (both were good), but the Dixie Fire continues to burn. It has now consumed more than 660,000 acres, with no end in sight.
+ + We are serving meals TODAY to families who may have lost everything
Today, our Mercy Chefs team is serving three meals to the families who have taken refuge in the shelter. At this point, many do not know if their homes survived or were consumed in the flames.
Originally, we were asked to come for one week. But the fire is getting worse and now I need to be ready to be serving meals for multiple weeks. I need the help of our Mercy Chefs friends and partners in a special way right now...
+ + Families are grateful for the meals you are providing...
One family came and asked for 10 meals because they had opened up their home to another family seeking shelter. As we talked more, they asked for even more meals, so they could serve and distribute them to their other neighbors! Even in the midst of so much loss and devastation caused by the Dixie Fire, this family is choosing to love their neighbors.
Before we arrived, the families were getting mostly cold food to eat. One of the workers who is helping to serve the families started crying after seeing what we provided for our first meal -- scrambled eggs with cheese, sausage patty, biscuit and gravy and fresh fruit. By the next day, there was a long line of people excited to get a hot meal.
Thank you so much for your faithful partnership with Mercy Chefs. And please continue to pray over this entire crisis. Pray for the families who have been evacuated. Pray for the thousands of firefighters and disaster personnel who are working to fight this massive blaze. And pray for our team as we work on the very front lines of the Dixie Fire to provide hot meals to disaster victims.
Thanks so much, and God bless,
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
P.S. Our chefs, staff and volunteers are working in very challenging circumstances with the looming threat that the fire could force an immediate evacuation. Yet they continue to provide meals. This is the closest we have ever been to the front lines of one of these massive wildfires. Will you help us serve the victims of this fire? Go here to sponsor 10, 20, 50 or 100 meals that we'll be serving this week: